Margaret Thatcher vetoed William's Hague's political bid

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 August, 2013, 4:48am


An attempt to parachute British Foreign Secretary William Hague into an early political career at the age of 21 was rejected as a "gimmick" by former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, archives released yesterday revealed.

Thatcher, who died in April aged 87, first saw Hague when he addressed the Conservative Party conference as a schoolboy.

But the "Iron Lady" rejected a request from John Kerr, a senior finance minister official, for him to become a special adviser to the Chancellor of the Exchequer five years later, the documents released by the National Archives in west London showed.

"The Prime Minister will I am sure remember his 1977 Party Conference speech as a 16-year-old schoolboy!" said Kerr in his request, only to receive an emphatic rejection.

"No (triple underlined) - this is a gimmick and would be deeply resented by many who have financial-economic experience," she wrote on the letter.

Instead, she echoed the conclusion of her private secretary Robin Butler.

Butler had said: "Promising though William Hague is, it is a bit difficult to see what a 21-year-old will contribute as a special adviser in the Treasury."

Hague went on to lead the Tory party in opposition before becoming foreign secretary after the 2010 general election.